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ALLAN’S REVIEW: Die, Zombie. Die! @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

When would it be a bad thing to kill a zombie? And what is not everybody agreed? Local company Punchbag Playhouse brings you the world premiere of Richard Hemphill’s zombie murder mystery comedy. Should you see it?


TwoUnder what circumstances might it be bad to kill a zombie? There’s the central question of “Die, Zombie. Die!” which makes war heroes out of the zombies and affords them some basic civil liberties – such as a right not to be killed so long as they stick to the flesh substitute and aren’t themselves doing any killing. How did they become war heroes? By being packed off to eat Nazi’s in WWII and coming back alive.

So in the noir-styled Die, Zombie. Die!, not only is somebody mass murdering zombies, they’re framing a former famed zombie hunter for the deed, leaving Detective Zane Slade to figure out what’s really going on.

If it sounds silly and foolish, that’s because it is. Very. Too much so? That’s a matter of taste. It seems like a strange statement to make but I prefer my comedy taken a bit seriously. Absurdity and silliness are great, but only really hit when the characters are believable and can be taken seriously. This isn’t the case with Die Zombie, Die! whose characters are over the top caricatures to the point of pretty much being buffoons all round. There wasn’t a single one that I felt resembled a real person at all. This means there isn’t anything to latch onto or pull you in to what’s going on.

die zombie dieThe humour of the play is left largely to groaners and repeating gags that run on a bit (sometimes a lot) too long. The only scene of the play which had me laughing was a bit between Ray Besharah and David Benedict Brown that was a parallel to Abott and Costello’s famous Who’s on First. That was a great moment in the show. Sadly, it was the only one.

But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think? Did you find Die, Zombie. Die! hilarious, and why? Do you find it hard to take your comedy seriously when it doesn’t take itself seriously? Tell me in the comments below.

For more information about Die, Zombie. Die!, take a look at our comprehensive preview article.

About Allan Mackey

Allan Mackey is editor-in-chief of Production Ottawa, which, really, is too fancy a title. He also acts as show producer for Should You See It, making sure you get your answer in just about two minutes every time. He writes stuff and occasionally turns that stuff into movies. Keep being awesome!


  1. [...] — Allan’s Review (3) Die, Zombie. Die! (w/ video) — Matthew’s Review (4) :: Allan’s Review (2) Disillusion — Valerie’s Review (4) :: Allan’s Review (2) Dolores (w/ video) [...]